Concerned about your relationship?

Dear Aunties

I am not a victim of domestic violence but I suppose you could call me ‘collateral damage’?

My daughter also thinks she is not a victim of domestic violence but I believe she is just that!

My son-in-law, in my view, is an abuser! I say that because when he has one of his episodes it paralyses everyone for the length of time he carries on!

As far as I know, my son-in-law never physically abuses. However, if something upsets him he begins by complaining and that builds until he shouts in such a high pitch everyone remains still.

He has been known to throw things during such a performance but not at anyone in particular.

I have been a victim of such and I made remarks such as ‘ Don’t be ridiculous!’ but I doubt he heard. No one in the family stood up for me and when it was all over everyone went on with their chores as if it had never happened! If asked, their comments are ‘Let it go!’.

I do wonder if the family is doing the right thing by staying silent?

Should I ask for an apology?


Dear Chloe

We consider this man needs some assistance. He needs to learn to control such behaviour as it is not good for his health or the health of those he lives with, particularly children(You don’t mention children?). We imagine his wife has attempted various antidotes.

You do not mention if your son-in-law has been to a doctor? If he can be persuaded to see a doctor we think that the best first step. A doctor will certainly look for any physical problem that might cause his rages. If he has no physical problems the doctor will more than likely recommend a psychologist. We recommend that, if at all possible, your daughter should accompany her husband to the appointment!

It doesn’t seem to us that an apology will do anything but make you feel better. As for the advice from his family to ‘let it go’? We cannot agree as that does not fix anything. It may be the easiest way of dealing with it but nothing changes. 

The Aunties

To seek help, phone 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732); Lifeline 13 11 14 or the police 000.